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Unsorted Routes:

Fat City Crack 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Ray Jardine
Page Views: 17,639
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

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Malcom Daly leading the 1st pitch in '76.

Season raptor closures MORE INFO >>>


This is one of the best routes at Lumpy Ridge. Take the trail to the Book, and just before you reach the rock, take the left branch. Fat City starts just left of the giant, landmark Howling at the Wind dihedral.

P1 - climb a left-leaning crack (about 30 feet left of the big dihedral) that leads up to and fades beneath the apex of a long roof band (5.8). Belay at bolts.

P2 - continue up a fantastic 5.10a finger crack, hand traverse left to a slot, climb that past old bolts, and grovel over the awkward roof where the a good crack passes through the apex (crux). Belay at a stance just above.

P3 - lieback up the right-leaning system, stepping right when things appear harder than 5.9. Get to the "Cave", the standard exit for climbs on the right side of the Book.

P4 - do that (5.8) or, better, finish with Cheap Date and Outlander for a fantastic, sustained 5.10 climb.


Standard rack to a #3 Friend; a few RPs could come in handy.

Photos of Fat City Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian M. following P1...
Brian M. following P1...
Rock Climbing Photo: Having failed at the 'hip scum' on the roof, Sieve...
BETA PHOTO: Having failed at the 'hip scum' on the roof, Sieve...
Rock Climbing Photo: Greg K leading up P1 of Fat City.
Greg K leading up P1 of Fat City.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin on the second pitch.
Kevin on the second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin on the first pitch.
Kevin on the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch of Fat Crack City.
BETA PHOTO: First pitch of Fat Crack City.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tommy on P1 - all sewn up.
Tommy on P1 - all sewn up.
Rock Climbing Photo: It's all gold after pulling the roof.  Close your ...
It's all gold after pulling the roof. Close your ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nothing but sheer determination as Colin pulls the...
Nothing but sheer determination as Colin pulls the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown Climbers on pitch 3 of Fat City.
Unknown Climbers on pitch 3 of Fat City.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom and Judy on Fat City Crack.  Photo taken from ...
Tom and Judy on Fat City Crack. Photo taken from ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting ready to pull through the crux.
Getting ready to pull through the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike starting up the awkward flared chimney (with ...
Mike starting up the awkward flared chimney (with ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike starting up the 10a finger crack. Crux roof v...
Mike starting up the 10a finger crack. Crux roof v...
Rock Climbing Photo: MF on the first pitch of Fat City.
MF on the first pitch of Fat City.
Rock Climbing Photo: Errett taking off on the third pitch.
Errett taking off on the third pitch.

Comments on Fat City Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 26, 2016
By Patrick Vernon
From: Estes Park, CO
Jan 1, 2001

This route felt like a definite sandbag to me, maybe .10c if you know the exact beta on it, however it is impossible to know what to do until your head pops over the roof and you don have long to look for the easiest sequence before your arms give out. Most climbers do a hard jamming, heel hook, belly flop move that feels more like .11a.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 17, 2001

Roof beta: jam high w/ right, palm down with left on blunt arete, and muckle up your feet. Good jams, you can have gear above you if you fight for it too. -Sloth
By Mike Sofranko
Jul 6, 2001

This is an easy 10 lead for taller climbers. I'm 6-4, thought the roof was 9+ or 10-. The crux for me was the finger crack at the start of the second pitch. The bolts protecting the slot are scary looking, but a fist sized cam or two will get you through it fine.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 23, 2001

As one reaches over the lip of the roof, there is a good crimper for your left hand just up and to the left of the crack.
By A. R. Williams
Nov 6, 2001

There is a great picture of a free solo on Fat City Crack in the (March?) issue of climbing magazine.
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
Mar 13, 2002

wide gear is handy for the 1st pitch.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 14, 2002

I really don't think wide gear is necessary for P1, even if you're sewing it up (which I did, first time on it). You could place a couple of 3.5 friends (I guess that is borderline wide) if you wanted to.
By Mark Morehouse
Apr 8, 2002

I climbed this route last weekend and didn't use anything bigger than a # 2 on the 1st pitch, and I set a good amount of gear. The 3rd pitch has more good climbing in it than I expected. 2nd pitch is big fun!!!
By Joe Huggins
From: Grand Junction
May 1, 2002

I remember the first time I did this around twenty years ago. I jammed both hands in the crack above the roof and in quiet desperation jumped both feet up beneath my hands. Amazingly enough, it worked, but I recommend one of these other guys beta.
By Ross Swanson
From: Pinewood Springs
Jun 12, 2002

Ran into Mike Caldwell on my way up to do this route for the first time and he mentioned that he retro-bolted 2 bolts on High Plains Drifter which starts just 12' after you pull the OH with a traverse left. Quality 10b route! although the RP's I placed on the way up were suspect.

I also thought the OH was 10-. --Ross
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Jul 15, 2002

The two bolts that are in the start of the chimney section have been replaced by a bomber bolt with a lowering ring. It is well placed so you don't need any large gear on the pitch. For the rest of the route you do not need anything larger than a #3 Camalot although a #3.5 would come in handy on the P3. The 9+ part on P2 is harder (mentally and physically) than the roof IMHO. Good route with great climbing on all the pitches. Casey Bernal
By Dan St. John
From: Castle Rock
Jul 29, 2002

Felt like a boulder problem that once you work it you wonder why you thought it was hard in the first place. Very Hard Move at the roof, and the finger crack is full value. Got crushed at the roof but figured out the sequence by hanging at taking a good look. The rating is for the OS lead, and I feel that due to the nature of the crux ( blinded ) that it is harder due to it's trickery. I have had some success at 11a but this roof shut me down hard. It was embarrassing hanging while a party behind we waited. I will climb it again with the beta in mind, but that's not quite the same is it.
By Rich Farnham
Apr 9, 2003

When I did this route, I linked pitch one and two together. The rope drag is not bad if you are careful with where you put pro and use runners well. Putting the two together makes a fantastic pitch with a little of everything (a long moderate handcrack to warm-up, followed by a short thin fingercrack, a hand-traverse, some chimneying, and a roof with good pro...what more could you ask for?) I've done plenty of multi-pitch routes that didn't offer as much good climbing as this one pitch.

Also, if you have to bail, you can get to the ground from the bolts at the top of the first pitch with one 60m rope. As I recall, the rope just reaches without knots, or you may have to downclimb a move or two of easy climbing. From the sound of it, the new bolts in the chimney have a rap ring as well. So if you can't pull the roof, you can probably get off of the route without leaving gear (rap from the chimney to the anchors at the top of the 1st pitch, then do another rap to the ground)
By M. Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 4, 2003

Combined with Cheap Date makes for 4 outstanding pitches!
By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Jun 23, 2003

Three Stars for sure.I also felt that the finger crack was more demanding. I guess my hands were just the right size for the roof. The third pitch is wonderful!
By Craig Quincy
Jun 23, 2003

There is only a single bolt in the chimney before the roof on P2. It's new and adequate for an emergency retreat , but shouldn't be counted on as a descent anchor if things go badly at the roof. This would require down climbing the slot and it would be easier to use 'dangle and thrash' A0 tactics to surmount the roof at that point.
By Sue Rice
Aug 2, 2003

Was out on this climb middle July. Did a lot of whining on this roof...Thanks for all of you who didn't laugh at this small Asian girl from Georgia...It was great...
By David Conlin
Oct 13, 2003

I only give this 2 stars, largely because of the first pitch, which is an annoyance that must be overcome to get to the good stuff. We used the standard finish, although next time maybe will take High Plains Drifter.

I found the pro somewhat tricky on P1.

My partner, Mike Flanagan, led the crux pitch. Neither of us had any problem on the 10a finger crack, although pro is a little sketchy (thin RPs). We both used chimney technique to get up to the roof, which was a little more problematic with a CamelBak on and definitely not recommended with a pack. Mike led the crux roof on Tagger earlier in the week and got it first try, no prob. He had a harder time with Fat City, having to resort to retreat twice before pulling it free. I, on the other hand, fell once before pulling the roof on Tagger, then got Fat City first try. Go Figure... I don't know if that helps anyone to discern the relative difficulty between the two or not...

P3 looks a lot easier from the belay than it seemed to be. Sustained 5.9. I actually thought the climbing to be pretty straightforward, but placing pro is often somewhat blind from relatively poor stances.

Photos coming . . .
By John Korfmacher
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jun 18, 2007

It is possible to rappel to the ground from the bolt anchor at the top of P1 if you have a 60m rope--just barely.

Thought the pro was excellent on P1. #3 Camalot is nice but not required. There are a lot of excellent large stopper placements (#8 and larger).
By 1Eric Rhicard
Jun 4, 2008

Hadn't fallen on a 10 in 25 years, but I fell off of this. Finally my friend gave me beta about scumming my right hip up over the lip which allowed me to get hold of something that made the grade seem close enough. Another trick in the bag. Now if I could only remember half the ones that were already in there.
By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 15, 2008
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Having several RPs and the smallest cams (blue & black Alien) for the P2 10a finger crack was key. The gear is there...but it is tiny and a bit nerve racking to place at times. I thought this section was solid 5.10 personally. Harder than the first pitch of Perelandra just to the right and I felt harder than High Plains Drifter. You can tell I haven't done much thin trad lately as I had 2 RP's and two small cams within 2' of each other. I just don't trust that small stuff much. How much of a fall is a #3 RP going to hold?

Just as Charles Vernon posted - I feel pretty confident on most 10s and this roof shut me down. I'm going with 10+/11- for an onsight grade. I can see if you know the move maybe it is less difficult. The jams are there, but hard to figure out the feet and the clock starts clicking fast once you start to pull over. I couldn't reach the little side pull without a second jamb after the good finger lock. This second jamb I just kept slipping off off without having dialed in my feet. Maybe I should have heel hooked. We just got worked over on the 2nd pitch of Perelandra so I wasn't in the mood to try it more that 3 times. Perhaps I just didn't really pull hard and go for it enough. Soooo much easier once you pull on your gear! I got the move on Tagger in Eldo 2nd try.

The chimney up to it wasn't so bad...good small foot holds and some spots to mantle with your left hand. The big bolt below you wasn't so bad either.

The right-leaning lieback after this was also interesting and no gimme.
By FCJohn
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jul 11, 2008
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I'm with folks above, I thought that the .10 finger crack at the start of P2 was more sustained, difficult and nerve racking than any of moves getting up to and pulling the roof. A outstanding outing never the less. The finger crack eats up nuts and Aliens in the pin scars.
By James Hulett
From: Boulder, Colorado
Jun 9, 2011

Is there a date on the first ascent? In Bernard Gillett's book, he claims FA was in '87 with John and Robert Gillett.
By Cam Reade
Aug 28, 2011

Pitch one - gear is mostly small hands to large fingers (#1, #0.75, #5., red and yellow Alien. I think I placed a #2 also.
Pitch two - 10a finger crack (good feet on face) #1 wire, purple Alien and green Alien at the top for the traverse. Don't go digging deep for jams or gear in flared roof chimney, climb outside edge of chimney for a couple of moves first (good feet just have to look for them), clip bolt, and then get a jam deep in the back of the chimney. As of today, the party in front of us fixed a green 0.75 at the edge of the roof crack. Clip this and pull the roof. Good right hand jam over roof (thumb down) nice side pull up high for the left hand. Did the hip scum. (Should try this in better sytle next time) place yellow Alien 2' above roof to protect rope from cutting across roof edge for 2nd climber. Standard rack to #3 cam. Only really need one #3 for the whole climb.
By Hale
From: Boston
Jul 28, 2012
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

I got 3 no-hands rest kneebars on the third pitch. Try and beat that!
By Em Cos
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 2, 2012

Just to offer another perspective in response to those who said the finger crack on P2 might be harder than the actual roof, I thought the crack was pretty chill, and I flailed until I failed on the roof. Not surprising since I'm short and weak and have tiny fingers, but still, just saying.
By trad4eva
Feb 3, 2013

Pitch 2 is easily my favorite.
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Jun 29, 2013
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Classic route that will force you to use the full gamut of technique. The "10a" crack on P2 is thin, tenuous, and great. The roof move is hard to onsight, but I can understand how it gets the 10c rating but don't necessarily agree with that rating. The 5.8 flare before the roof is pretty casual and protected by a fat bolt. Use your best flare technique and you will gain the roof unpumped. Overall, this is a great route and finishing with Cheap Date to Outlander is full on classic!
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Aug 18, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I did this climb in 1996 and again today. The roof feels no easier now than it was in 1996. It was great doing this climb and then Cheap Date and Outlander.
By Nate R
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 25, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Onsighted the 2nd pitch linked into the 3rd to just below the cave. Sweet route!

The roof move felt 10c... it's a crack!

The 10a finger crack was all there, don't know what people are talking about with RPs, I completely sewed it up with small cams.

This route (and area) reminds me a lot of climbing at Whitney Portal Buttress (meaning it's freaking awesome).
By Cocanower
From: The High Country
Jul 17, 2015

It's all in the hip scum. Finishing on Cheap Date is a must.
By Russ Keane
Sep 26, 2016

Fantastic route that challenges the massive Book wall up an elegant middle pathway to the top. The climbing includes a variety of styles, tough but well protected. It's a classic for sure! Don't sleep on the pitch after the roof: it's excellent 5.9 climbing, much different than the stuff below. I fully recommend Cheap Date (4-star finger crack) for the mega-classic finish!

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